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Who Is to Blame for the State of Game Scores?

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August 12, 2008 6:44:40 PM

Article by Travis Meacham.

Whether or not to include a numerical score in a game review is a constant debate on forums across the Internet. Tom's Games column Side-Quest addresses the issue placing blame on both readers and reviewers alike for the current state of the scoring system.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/08/12/column_gamescore...
August 12, 2008 8:31:20 PM

Until gaming gains widespread acceptance by the general media, there will be an inherant bias in gaming reviews. A game review on a gaming website that exists because of developer/publisher ad dollars will be held to a higher threshold of criticism; the reviewer will need concrete reasons why they didn't score the game well. I certainly don't blame the reviewer or the website for this bias, no more than I would blame Variety for lavishing praise on a film that cost $200 million to make but left audiences unhappy: gaming sites are basically trade publications, more useful for news and entertainment than criticism or insight.

Once this generation of young gamers grows up, and gets degrees in journalism, and starts reading newspapers, there will be a shift to objective, mainstream criticism of games. Once this occurs, we will see games more like "Braid" or "Mass Effect", games that could be described as art as well as entertainment. The industry cannot continue to innovate indefinately through the stewardship of a few key developers. I look forward to being able to choose between embarrassing a friend online in a frag-fest, or sipping on a beer playing a character who maybe gets the girl, but doesn't save the world.

The future of gaming is bright indeed, so long as we continue to be malcontents.
August 12, 2008 9:34:23 PM

It's going to very hard to change the "7-10" scale. This scale isn't the result of inflated grades or paid reviewers. Everything we did in school and college was graded on a "7-10" scale and below that was fail. It's similar with games. 7 is average, 6 is below average and below 6 is fail. There is no reason to change this scale, all you'll do is confuse everyone.
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August 12, 2008 9:54:29 PM

SEALBoy said:
It's going to very hard to change the "7-10" scale. This scale isn't the result of inflated grades or paid reviewers. Everything we did in school and college was graded on a "7-10" scale and below that was fail. It's similar with games. 7 is average, 6 is below average and below 6 is fail. There is no reason to change this scale, all you'll do is confuse everyone.


Huh?

SealBoy, I'm curious: where do you hail from? I don't ever remember being graded with numbers in grade school or college here in the U.S. Then again, I only went to a few schools, so what do I know.

In any event, you may be correct in your claim that using a true 1-10 review scale will confuse people here at Tom's Games that are used to seeing 7-10s and consider a 6 to be a complete failure. We plan on clarifying our scale and review system in the very near future, prior to the slew of games lined up for this fall.
August 12, 2008 10:14:19 PM

^ Um, haven't you heard of someone telling you there Grade Point Average? It's presented in a number. :p 

I think that he is talking about percentages though, and it has quite a ring of truth to it, at least until college where they use curves much more often. Anyhow, it is common in schools for grades to break down like so:
100-90 = A
89-80 = B
79-70 = C
69-60 = D
Everything under is fail, and even a D is pretty much a fail in some instances, like in regards to your major.
August 12, 2008 10:34:57 PM

San Pedro said:
^ Um, haven't you heard of someone telling you there Grade Point Average? It's presented in a number. :p 

I think that he is talking about percentages though, and it has quite a ring of truth to it, at least until college where they use curves much more often. Anyhow, it is common in schools for grades to break down like so:
100-90 = A
89-80 = B
79-70 = C
69-60 = D
Everything under is fail, and even a D is pretty much a fail in some instances, like in regards to your major.


I'm flabbergasted. I'm totally serious, I never knew about this. And I'm not making light of it. It's just that it still doesn't make sense to me. If game review sites/mags want to make 6 a D or or an F...then why not just use a 1-5 scale? I mean, you're only using a few numbers with the 7-10 scale, so just ditch the rest of the spectrum.
August 12, 2008 10:50:40 PM

robwright said:
I'm flabbergasted. I'm totally serious, I never knew about this. And I'm not making light of it. It's just that it still doesn't make sense to me. If game review sites/mags want to make 6 a D or or an F...then why not just use a 1-5 scale? I mean, you're only using a few numbers with the 7-10 scale, so just ditch the rest of the spectrum.


Sorry to say Rob, but Metacritic dictates the use of a 1-10 scale. Metacritic also proves game scores are inflated as well.

Hmmm, doesn't cnet own metacritic?

Doesn't cnet also own Gamespot? ... Uhoh.
August 12, 2008 11:28:13 PM

As long was we are at it lets create a Gaussian Distribution curve (bell curve) that way most games fall with in one standard deviation and only the really bad games and really good games stand out. that's the way it should be done.

August 12, 2008 11:30:27 PM

robwright said:
I'm flabbergasted. I'm totally serious, I never knew about this. And I'm not making light of it. It's just that it still doesn't make sense to me. If game review sites/mags want to make 6 a D or or an F...then why not just use a 1-5 scale? I mean, you're only using a few numbers with the 7-10 scale, so just ditch the rest of the spectrum.

Here's a basic example of what happens. In school you take a test of 100 questions. You get 30 wrong, that's 70. Below 70 (and in some case 60) is classified as fail, even if you got more right than you did wrong. That system has translated to game reviews. I'm not saying that there's no inflation, but even without inflation games worth playing would be rated on a 7-10 scale. It's just the way it works. There are a lot more "fail" grades than "pass" grades. A 5-6 is by no means a complete failure, but, strictly speaking, it is a failure nonetheless.

My advice: do NOT change this. No matter how much you clarify your position on this, you will be going against EVERYONE'S mentality. There's nothing wrong with the system, you've just mistaken inflated reviews to represent an inflated scale.
August 12, 2008 11:55:40 PM

SEALBoy said:
Here's a basic example of what happens. In school you take a test of 100 questions. You get 30 wrong, that's 70. Below 70 (and in some case 60) is classified as fail, even if you got more right than you did wrong. That system has translated to game reviews. I'm not saying that there's no inflation, but even without inflation games worth playing would be rated on a 7-10 scale. It's just the way it works. There are a lot more "fail" grades than "pass" grades. A 5-6 is by no means a complete failure, but, strictly speaking, it is a failure nonetheless.

My advice: do NOT change this. No matter how much you clarify your position on this, you will be going against EVERYONE'S mentality. There's nothing wrong with the system, you've just mistaken inflated reviews to represent an inflated scale.



Well, now I know why some people freaked when I gave Assassin's Creed a 5. I thought 5, being in the middle of 1-10, was the literal definition of average. But according to everyone else, a 5 is god awful/inhumanly bad.

I understand your point now, SealBoy, but I don't agree with keeping the system the same way. I think it's better to use the entire spectrum of numbers at your disposal in a 1-10 scale rather than limit to just half that amount. I think you can get a bit more granular and detailed with your opinions, too, rather than being stuck with 9=great, 8=good, 7=average, 6=sucks.
August 12, 2008 11:56:06 PM

SEALBoy said:
My advice: do NOT change this. No matter how much you clarify your position on this, you will be going against EVERYONE'S mentality. There's nothing wrong with the system, you've just mistaken inflated reviews to represent an inflated scale.


Yeah.... Not so sure that I agree with your reasoning there. You condemn "going against EVERYONE'S mentality", but caving into the expectations of the lowest common denominator is exactly what is causing ridiculous inflation. It is an endless poisonous feedback loop. Your fallback position appears to be that the game scores scale to the A-F grading system, but that is not acceptable because (1) school grades are undergoing crazy inflation and (2) game reviews are even worse!

A perfect score or even near perfect should be associated with a product that gamers will be playing for years - A game that you keep that old console around for.

I don't expect things to get any better - how many reviewers gave a perfect score to GTA4? That cherry is totally popped and it will be that much easier to go there next time. Sooner than later we'll be on a 9.5-10.0 scale with idiotic drooling fanboys whining when their overhyped game does not get a 10.

Bah!
August 13, 2008 12:00:37 AM

robwright said:
I'm flabbergasted. I'm totally serious, I never knew about this. And I'm not making light of it. It's just that it still doesn't make sense to me. If game review sites/mags want to make 6 a D or or an F...then why not just use a 1-5 scale? I mean, you're only using a few numbers with the 7-10 scale, so just ditch the rest of the spectrum.


Wasn't trying to discount the thesis of the piece. In fact, I think 1-5 scale would make much more sense (I think the show on G-tv does this, but they hardly ever do PC games). I never really see any game with a score under 6, or 7 for that matter, but I guess one could argue that most games have some form of enjoyment from them. I haven't played anything that I would think would be under 5 on a 10 point scale, but I never played any Barbie games either. . .
August 13, 2008 12:01:32 AM

I can see both sides on this.

On the one hand, the standard 6 or 7 to 10 scale is what most people are used to, on the other hand a larger scale would provide more useful information.

Even with the standard old 7 to 10 scale though, you will still occasionally see games getting 4 or below. This could be seen as an exaggeration of how badly the game sucked but pretty much any game getting scores that low do indeed suck and below a certain level of suck the opinion of it's utter lack of quality will be close to unanimous.

The 7 to 10 scale therefore may actually be beneficial as a reminder that while the game was not absolutely superb (9 or 10), it was still a good game (7 or 8) and if certain aspects of it appeal to you, buy it. At least that is how I always interpreted it.

At a score of 6 it is teetering on the brink of unplayability but some enjoyment could still be found. These games would be bargain bin treasures. Certainly not worth full value but they will quickly decrease in cost and might be worth $15 or so.

That said, all of this should merely be used to augment the real meat of the review, which is the words.
August 13, 2008 12:29:01 AM

robwright said:
Well, now I know why some people freaked when I gave Assassin's Creed a 5. I thought 5, being in the middle of 1-10, was the literal definition of average. But according to everyone else, a 5 is god awful/inhumanly bad.

I understand your point now, SealBoy, but I don't agree with keeping the system the same way. I think it's better to use the entire spectrum of numbers at your disposal in a 1-10 scale rather than limit to just half that amount. I think you can get a bit more granular and detailed with your opinions, too, rather than being stuck with 9=great, 8=good, 7=average, 6=sucks.


I'm completely against grade inflation, believe me, it sucks that the number of 10's GameStop handed out this year is equal to the TOTAL amount they had handed out in the past decade. But I don't think the scale should be changed. One problem I think you guys are facing is that you review only a few select, high-profile games that would probably land between 7-10 on ANYONE'S scale. When you start reviewing every game under the sun, you will use the whole scale and you will find out the usefulness of the 1-6 scale in differentiating absolute WTF garbage and a playable, albeit mediocre, title. Just use 0.5 divisions if you need more space on the 7-10 scale.
August 13, 2008 1:17:44 AM

I actually prefer smaller scales. For instance the way rotten tomatoes does it. I'm not talking about the tomato meter I'm talking about how the reviewers that submit their reviews pick either good or bad and that's it. So simple. Same goes for Ebert and Roeper. It's thumbs or thumbs down.

But I do see how that becomes somewhat impractical for games so beyond a point scale I prefer the "pass it," "rent it," "buy it" scale. After all, isn't that the information you want from a review. "Should I buy this game?"

And no... we won't be adding a "pirate it" as a tier in the scale. :non: 
August 13, 2008 4:05:06 AM

I have to agree almost 100% with SEALBoy on this one. I think the scale of 1-10 works quite well (granted reviewers are unbiased, and that's hard to do). I read something that I really liked from (I think) Greg Kasavin of Gamespot at the time; he said that their average score is a 7 because, in general, games are good. A 7 (or 70%) in school is a C, which is considered "average." I like this scale because I completely agree. Heck, a game has to get at least a few points just for being able to run on someone's computer or console.

And on the issue of Gamespot or whoever being owned by Cnet - I actually prefer Gamespot to most other rating sites. I couldn't care less how they operate, because I compare the scores I would give to games to the scores Gamespot gives them, and I generally agree. There are definitely anomalies, like Assassin's Creed (holy crap, a freaking 9.0???? That game kind of sucked!), Halo 3 (I would give it an 8.0 or 8.3), GTA 4 (self-explanatory), or some underrated games like Titan Quest. I'd give Titan Quest atleast an 8.5, and I even sacreligiously like it better than Diablo, but sites docked it craploads of points for lack of originality. However, these outliers set aside, I generally agree with their scores. Therefore I go to look at the scores they put out and usually know whether or not I'll like a game based on their score AND review.
August 13, 2008 4:44:46 AM

Yep, you have to realize the difference between the scale and the scores. The scale has been the same since forever. You go back 10-15 years and "good" games still earned scores of 7-10. The problem lies with artificially inflated grades, but the scale does not cause that. The vast majority of game grades are still uninflated. Only in overhyped, extreme high-profile games does inflation really come into play because of the fear of backlash from fanboys as well as conflicts of interest in advertising. Personal bias also plays a role here (ie the reviewer desperately wants the game to be good).
August 13, 2008 6:41:52 AM

San Pedro said:
^ Um, haven't you heard of someone telling you there Grade Point Average? It's presented in a number. :p 

I think that he is talking about percentages though, and it has quite a ring of truth to it, at least until college where they use curves much more often. Anyhow, it is common in schools for grades to break down like so:
100-90 = A
89-80 = B
79-70 = C
69-60 = D
Everything under is fail, and even a D is pretty much a fail in some instances, like in regards to your major.


In Australia:

Outstanding (A)
High (B)
Satisfactory (C)
Basic (D)
Limited (E)

All part of the rating changing thing...

robwright said:
I'm flabbergasted. I'm totally serious, I never knew about this. And I'm not making light of it. It's just that it still doesn't make sense to me. If game review sites/mags want to make 6 a D or or an F...then why not just use a 1-5 scale? I mean, you're only using a few numbers with the 7-10 scale, so just ditch the rest of the spectrum.


I see what you mean... most give 7-10s. I remeber a site somewhere that promises to use the full scale... somewhere. If you wanna use the full scale (which seems more logical) have text after it like average, commendable and etc.
August 13, 2008 1:52:09 PM

Gamespot has given a game a 1.0 before (their lowest score), and several others have received between 1.0 and 2.0. They definitely use their entire scale...I just believe that they care more to rate games that people will actually play instead of wasting time on value games. People who buy value games aren't the same gamers who go to sites like these to check out game reviews. Someone earlier mentioned that Tom's only reviews high-profile games, and I totally understand - limited reviewers, so why review movie-based games when they're not the ones people are going to go play?

I agree with amdfangirl, but it should also be pointed out that several sites do already. I read reviews from Gamespot and IGN all the time, because I agree with their scores the most, and then obviously I read Tom's too. Both Gamespot and IGN have word scores at the ends of their reviews, and they both pretty much use a 6-10 scale. Maybe Tom's could adopt this too..I would definitely not be opposed to it. I was disappointed in Assassin's Creed, but I sure as heck thought it was better than a 5, lol.
August 13, 2008 2:05:12 PM

Snare, that's really the best way to go about it. When it comes down to what the reader gets out of a review, no one reviewer has any more say than another so you have to sort through them, find someone you agree with most of the time and stick with them. It's all a crapshoot really.

At the same time reviewers do push their scores up to avoid fanboy backlash on the larger titles. And that I don't like. This goes back to the whole what-is-a-10-game argument. Not everyone does it like this but Rob and I have a tendency to score a game harder, wait for the backlash to start and then leap feet first into it to make our points heard.
August 13, 2008 2:14:17 PM

I also think the 1 - 10 scale is working ok.

It is only natural that most games scores 7-10 because only relative good games or games with high focus are reviewed. (and this applies especially to Toms Hardware!!!!)

Lots of games are released (at least for the PC) every month that no reviewer is looking at .. simple because they sucks and are low budget non-hyped titles.

"Tank Universal: Challenger Eight
Release Date: Aug 21, 2008
Take part in a 3D, "Tron-like" world as you make your way through 20 levels of tank battles. "

You think this would get a score above 7? We will never know because it will not be reviewed.

Actually Gamespot have given 7 out of the last 20 games a score of 5 or below (PC). It is because very few good games are released in the summer and there are time to review the bad ones too.

But all in all .. the system is fine.

And like one person said. It doesn't matter if a game gets 1 or 4 .. it suuucks.. but 7 or 10 .. thats another story.
August 13, 2008 6:47:33 PM

honestly the numbers or objects used in a scale don't matter. you can take a 7-10 scale and say 6 and lower means "pass it", 8 and lower means "rent it", and 9 and higher means "buy it". all the scales are the same as long as you explain them. What really needs to go away is the censoring.

Going back to gamespot and their kane and lynch review. The fact that the person who originally reviewed the game and gave it a bad score was conveniently fired soon thereafter and his review replaced by a much more favorable one (since every single add on the page for the month or two prior was advertising that game) means to me that any review from them possibly is a lie and has no bearing on whether or not the game is a good one.

I, for one, am a fan of both x-play (even though they have been dropping a little recently) and zero punctuation. x-play uses the 0-5 system and isn't afraid to use the 0-1 area. Also, as part of their rating, they will flat out tell you things like "If you are a fan of the series/genre, go buy this game. if you aren't then rent it". this covers the games like "hello kitty island adventure" where sure it might be a great game and have absolutely zero bugs and get a score of 10, but theres no way in hell im going to buy, rent, or pirate the game.

Yahtzee (zero punctuation) on the other hand doesnt even use a rating system. he says "this is what sucks about the game. if that bugs you then dont play it" along with the regular how he liked it. He also seems less biased than any other reviewer i know of.

So to sum everything up, ratings are lazy and don't really mean too much to begin with. Not everyone likes the same games. Reviews need to give information about the game so readers can make an educated decision.
August 13, 2008 7:10:41 PM

I've always been a fan of the multi-facited scoring system where several different areas are scored along with an overall score. I remember Nintendo Power magazine using this type of system way back in the day when deciding which game I would ask for Christmas was a big decision. Always seemed to work pretty well.
August 13, 2008 9:49:00 PM

I also like the multifaceted scoring.
Game informer has a pretty good system if a bit biased reviewers. They have been better lately than they were a few years ago though.

For instance I really value good character development and plot and bad gameplay can ruin any game. However I don't care quite so much about the graphics and sound.
August 14, 2008 11:16:32 AM

amdfangirl said:
In Australia:

Outstanding (A)
High (B)
Satisfactory (C)
Basic (D)
Limited (E)



In Portugal

1 to 20. 20 being "Perfect" or "Flawless Victory" and 1 being "Why the sack did you even come" ?

Rating games from 7-10 is silly imho. The scale is 1 to 10 in the different areas. You can do a average of the different points being evaluated, but lets be honest, if a game is a 5 it is a 5. If you have your method of evaluation pretty well explained, the rest is a matter of opinions. And opinions, well, mostly aren't so founded or backed by methods. Just moronic opinions sometimes.

I would never consider BattleToads a good game. Maybe a 2. But there people that liked it.
August 14, 2008 12:43:40 PM

amdfangirl said:
In Australia:

Outstanding (A)
High (B)
Satisfactory (C)
Basic (D)
Limited (E)



I agree that a score of 70+ is too limited in that it eliminates like this as a basis... Though I'm also thinking that there may be value in including + and - values, and perhaps add category for Fail. Though in recent memory I can't think of anything that just plain failed... 'Sucked' - Yeah well... But not full on fail. Convert to numbers nets a total possible of 20, and the corresponding grades look like:

18~20 points = A-, A, and A+ = Outstanding
15~17 points = B-, B, and B+ = High
10~12 points = C-, C, C+ = Satisfactory
7~10 points = D-, D, D+ = Basic
3~6 points = E-, E, E+ = Limited
0~3 points = F-, F, and F+ = Fail

Now pick several categories - Graphics, Gameplay, Storyline (if any)... I'd like to read about how demanding it is relative to other current games - Maybe some kind of 'Optimzation' score, if you can figure out some objective way to measure relative efficiency. So perhaps a game is demanding but efficient, then add marks. If it's demanding because it's INefficient, then a lower score.

0.02, here...
August 14, 2008 3:59:01 PM

Obviously some people don't understand what the scores are for. Lemme explain, using a small algorithm:

If score >= 7 read review.
If score < 7 don't bother.

That's all the score means. It does NOT mean buy the game It does NOT mean you will like the game for sure. The review may help you figuring out if you will or not like the game.

If you don't read the review... well, you're just gonna be one more flamer trolling the forums to cry bloody murder.
August 14, 2008 5:03:20 PM

Anybody read Eurogamer? I tend to read their reviews more than any other -- well, besides our own. Eurogamer uses a "true" 1-10 scale where 6 is still considered decent, 5 is average/mediocre, and 4 is poor, and so on.

http://www.eurogamer.net/scoring_policy.php
August 14, 2008 5:36:44 PM

robwright said:
Anybody read Eurogamer? I tend to read their reviews more than any other -- well, besides our own. Eurogamer uses a "true" 1-10 scale where 6 is still considered decent, 5 is average/mediocre, and 4 is poor, and so on.

http://www.eurogamer.net/scoring_policy.php


I agree totally, not to mention their reviews are very well written, in a variety of styles.
August 14, 2008 8:22:56 PM

The dispute is not a matter of whether a true 1-10 scale would be more informative and better. It is a matter of familiarity.

Most americans are used to it being similar to grades in school and when it deviates strongly from that perception, they get angry.

I fully agree that a true 1-10 scale is better, but that doesn't mean that the slanted scale everyone is used to is bad, just suboptimal. It still provides a solid impression of the game.
August 15, 2008 6:40:42 AM

Most games have evolved. They aren't so ridiculously bad. Graphics cover up most of that.

Unless you count non-star wars movie-based games =(

I think the system that tells of the faults and stuff should be used as it highlight strengths and weaknesses in a game...
August 15, 2008 11:55:51 AM

amdfangirl said:
Most games have evolved. They aren't so ridiculously bad. Graphics cover up most of that.

Unless you count non-star wars movie-based games =(

I think the system that tells of the faults and stuff should be used as it highlight strengths and weaknesses in a game...


Graphics can get it you so far.....can't get all the way. And they aren't as vital to the majority of gamers. The Wii is the living proof of it. At this point i guess reviewrs should be more critic about games. Not every game is very good and has its low points aswell.

I guess it is a hard job in the end, because your telling you "opinion" about it. Your taste influenciastes alot on it. Tastes to differ alot. As a final though, graphics are nice, but are not all in a game. And almost all the biggest best selling games prove that.
August 15, 2008 3:03:41 PM

Which is why multifaceted scoring is the way to go. If a game gets poor marks for graphics but great marks everywhere else, then it is a game I will still be very interested in.
August 15, 2008 6:35:23 PM

Coming from someone who didnt know there was a controversy over the nature of the 1-10 grading system for games. Maybe you can get insight as to how your average person views it that hasnt thought about it.

As previously mentioned i view the 1-10 grading system like it is a 10-100% school grading system, associating letter grades with the percentage. 5= F 6 = D 7 = C 8 = B 9-10 = A.

Anything below 5 is just elaborating how utterly horrible it was. I think people are just trained to treat it this way from years of school, its hard to break that preception. I would not look at a grade of 5 as being "average" or a "C" I would look at that as meaning it failed and would not give the game the time of day. As far as the grades themselves, they are subject to personal opinion, i would have given Assasins creed an 8, Despite repetative quests, the fighting was a blast and the story was good albeit predictable.
August 16, 2008 3:39:07 AM

infornography42 said:
Which is why multifaceted scoring is the way to go. If a game gets poor marks for graphics but great marks everywhere else, then it is a game I will still be very interested in.


For someone like me, graphics don't really affect my buying choice ~ my computer probably couldn't render that fast anyway =)

Gameplay is more important for me. I know Crysis is a panorama lag-fest.

I actually have seen a review somewhere about Crysis which is mainly inflated by graphics...
August 16, 2008 10:50:18 PM

Grading a game...no just kidding. Reviewing a game takes more than a scoring system. While reviewers tend to over complicate the scoring systems, why not come back to the basics and realize what the reviews are meant for...

Currently, articles are written showing off the pros and cons, and in the end, the reviewer assigns it a score, say 1 out of 10. Personally, as a gamer, these types of reviews are not enough for me to decide if the game is worth buying or not. I like to see some gameplay....some feedback from the reviewer while the game is showing its weaknesses and/or its stunning new features.

So, what are reviews really meant for? Having a scoring system because other websites have scoring systems? Instead, why not focus on all features in the game and giving a heads up on features (or lack of them) that people may be irritated by... and show off some of the positive features of the game. Now that's the meat of a real review...not the score.

Rob Wright:

The score isn't important...so I wouldn't worry too much about the grading system. Unfortunately, you'll always have complaints from either fanboys or haters. The score should only backup what the reviewer felt about the reviewed title given "today's" standards and expectations of gamers. Basically, if you feel the game deserves to get a 6, then be it. Let's face it, grading Halo 3 doesn't matter because fanboys will all give it a perfect 10 and non-Halo fanboys will give it a 7.5 or below. If you could show what the games is like and "let us decide" what the score should be...then I would say the review is a success.

I'll be honest, and please do not take offence as this is my 2 cent of criticism that I have for you; I have read many of your reviews/articles and I really don't care if you give Startrek Online a 5 or a 10. You might enjoy the game...where I might not...or vice versa. While reading your articles, I focus on statements like..."Startrek has this new feature allowing you to bla bla bla..." or "the plot can be followed by anyone and does not require to have followed the series to appreciate the storyline...", or "the skill level to play this game is quite difficult, the controls can become overwhelming for the inexperienced gamer". Get my drift? With all the information provided in your article, I'll be making my own decision on whether the game seems like a good value...or not. Your score should still be part of your article to back up your thoughts...but honestly, I may not even look at them.

Also, have you guys ever considered doing video-reviews instead of written articles? Video-reviews can provide so much more information about games such as the graphic engine, glitches or bugs, general gameplay, etc. I'm just curious because I think you guys do a good job on Second-Take and I really appreciate when you guys talk about games (and what you guys felt about them). Articles don't show intonations, facial expressions, and most importantly, game-footage).

PS: Sorry for the long post.

Regards,

Alex
August 17, 2008 12:57:05 AM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
I'll be honest, and please do not take offence as this is my 2 cent of criticism that I have for you; I have read many of your reviews/articles and I really don't care if you give Startrek Online a 5 or a 10. You might enjoy the game...where I might not...or vice versa. While reading your articles, I focus on statements like..."Startrek has this new feature allowing you to bla bla bla..." or "the plot can be followed by anyone and does not require to have followed the series to appreciate the storyline...", or "the skill level to play this game is quite difficult, the controls can become overwhelming for the inexperienced gamer". Get my drift? With all the information provided in your article, I'll be making my own decision on whether the game seems like a good value...or not. Your score should still be part of your article to back up your thoughts...but honestly, I may not even look at them.


Wait, wait, wait....you mean you actually read something OTHER than the score?

Quote:
Also, have you guys ever considered doing video-reviews instead of written articles? Video-reviews can provide so much more information about games such as the graphic engine, glitches or bugs, general gameplay, etc. I'm just curious because I think you guys do a good job on Second-Take and I really appreciate when you guys talk about games (and what you guys felt about them). Articles don't show intonations, facial expressions, and most importantly, game-footage).


It's being work on. Hopefully we will have some videos in the coming months. Thanks for the suggestions and feedback.
August 17, 2008 1:09:22 AM

robwright said:
Wait, wait, wait....you mean you actually read something OTHER than the score?


You'd be surprised. :p  I also read full reviews for games I'm interested in. Unfortunately, I do not own a console so a lot of games that you review aren't applicable to me, but I still browse through the review. I never get a game based SOLELY on the number score.

I also enjoy the Second Takes you do. :p 
August 17, 2008 7:38:50 PM

SEALBoy said:
You'd be surprised. :p  I also read full reviews for games I'm interested in. Unfortunately, I do not own a console so a lot of games that you review aren't applicable to me, but I still browse through the review. I never get a game based SOLELY on the number score.

I also enjoy the Second Takes you do. :p 


Same here
August 18, 2008 9:27:53 PM

y in Gods earth did gta4 get a perfect 10?? is more like 8.5 if u ask me :whistle: 
August 19, 2008 3:14:09 AM

We didn't give GTA4 a 10. We gave it a 9.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/05/14/gtaiv_review/

Alex, video reviews are definitely on the table but that table is pretty cluttered. It's something I'd very much like to do so our first attempts at it may be upcoming.
August 19, 2008 12:28:26 PM

unfortunately i agree that the system should be left alone i dont buy any games that score 6 or below, Its just not worth my time, 8-10 games are my most likely buys and 6-7 if its in the bargain bin.
August 19, 2008 4:14:02 PM

tmeacham said:
We didn't give GTA4 a 10. We gave it a 9.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/05/14/gtaiv_review/

Alex, video reviews are definitely on the table but that table is pretty cluttered. It's something I'd very much like to do so our first attempts at it may be upcoming.


Thanks guys. Looking foward to this.
August 20, 2008 6:20:39 AM

I would like to see gaming scores represented as an area. you see it alot in rpgs. For example you take a few key points you look for in games. Graphics, Story, Control, Sound, and variety, rate each one on a scale from 1 to 10 and then draw the scales into a pentagon. The final score will then be a seen as a shaded area with the pentagon. This will alow reviewers to move away from the 7 to 10 scale as the attention will now go to the shape inside the pentagon. 1 dimensional games, such as games with all graphics and nothing else, will show as flat narrow shapes, as well rounded games will look more like a complete pentagon.
August 22, 2008 1:23:47 PM

Leave it as it is. Most people are able to read the reviewers bias and then can make their own decisions about which games they will buy or even demo.

Very few of my friends will buy a game before they demo it. I think we have all gotten wrapped up in a review about a game that is suppose to be the biggest and the best (A 8 plus.) only to find out it was only at best, a 6.
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